The press supply chain for both newspapers and magazines is facing unprecedented pressure around the world. Yet, says Distripress, the industry is squaring up to the challenges and is accelerating changes in how it operates with speed and creativity.
The opportunities that are opening up are largely as a result of the four distinct content pipelines developing around a mix of print and digital platforms. Yet this still leaves some major challenges to be addressed by the industry. These are the key conclusions from a new report from Distripress, the latest in its Global Distribution Tracker (GDT) programme.
During the Summer, the global press distribution trade association, Distripress polled a sample of its members about how they were getting through the current difficult trading conditions. The resultant GDT Pulse Update was published in August and provided feedback from publishers, wholesalers, distributors and retailers in 23 countries in every continent, as it mapped the immediate changes to working practices made as a result of the pandemic.
The latest publication, the GDT Report 2020, takes a longer-term view, with sales forecasts through to 2024. The report identifies four basic fulfilment chains running in parallel to deliver newspaper & magazine (N&M) content. The more agile Distripress members are well into projects that move them from their legacy core operations into the other pipelines.
Yet in doing so, they have to address five big issues:
- How to streamline processes in the current print chain.
- How to develop the changing nature of the in-store experience of physical retailers.
- How to reach the consumer directly at home more effectively and efficiently.
- How to be involved in the other N&M content pipelines by refocusing on marketing rather than pure logistics.
- How to use their existing skills, knowledge and capacity in other, non-N&M supply chains.
Tracy Jones, Managing Director, Distripress: “The conclusion of our Summer Pulse Update was that although the current state of affairs is volatile, unpredictable and very challenging, it is actually not as bad as many had feared at the start of the pandemic. The full GDT Report now takes us much deeper into the future. Breaking down old operational silos and attitudes; developing new business models; streamlining established processes; working with new – and often unexpected – partners; growing or buying in new skills whilst leveraging old ones: these are all part of the future for Distripress members. The future is hybrid. And the future is now.”
Jim Bilton, Managing Director, Wessenden Marketing (author of the report): “There is no escaping the fact that there will be more casualties along the way over the next few months, in every link in the chain from publishers through to retailers. Yet the clear conclusion is that the smarter players will emerge from the pandemic leaner and more efficient. And also operating in new areas with enhanced digital skills and tools. The creativity and determination of so many in the industry is really impressive.”
The resources behind the Distripress Global Distribution Tracker programme:
- The GDT Report 2020 is downloadable from the Distripress website at a cost of CHF425 (free to Distripress members).
- The August GDT Pulse Update is available free of charge, downloadable here to anyone involved in the media business.
- The whole GDT project will be discussed in a virtual session at the Distripress Forum on Dec 1 2020. Details on the Distripress website.